Whether you are seasoned or a beginner, health and fitness safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. It sounds like a no brainer to be safe, but there are many areas of safety that are often overlooked. Even by those who have been working on their health and fitness for a long time.
You do not want to be the one that ends up injured. So, keep these common health and fitness safety tips in mind, both now and as you progress.
If you are just starting your health and fitness journey, you might also be interested in The Starter’s Guide To Health & Fitness, which walks you through more on safety as well as other key factors you need to know to be successful.
Health And Fitness Safety Tips
Some of these tips are going to be common sense, but common sense isn’t always all that common, so they need to be addressed.
Other safety tips in here are going to be areas that you might not have considered before.
That is alright because the purpose of this is to make you aware of them, so you can always be safe.
So let’s jump in.
Always Consult Your Doctor
This is one of those common sense tips, but honestly, who likes going to the doctor? However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as high blood pressure or asthma, you should always talk to your doctor before beginning a workout routine.
You should also consult them if you have any concerns or develop any concerns.
Your doctor is going to be able to tell you what types of exercise you should be doing and what symptoms you might want to be aware of.
It’s also a good idea to go in for a yearly health check-up because catching any possible conditions early is always best.
Don’t be the person that continuously puts it off. If there is an issue, get it checked out immediately!
I also want to point out, if you decide you want to try a certain diet, you should also refer to your doctor or a registered dietician.
Pay Attention To Your Body
This is one of the most important health and fitness safety tips you need to follow. Unfortunately, I see so many people NOT follow this.
You know your body best.
Your body tells you when you are hungry, thirsty, tired, soar, or sick. Don’t ignore these signs from your body.
It is possible to watch what you eat to lose weight without starving yourself. And if your body is exhausted or you’re sick, it is alright to skip your workout for the day.
Body pains should also be taken into account when it comes to working out. It is when you ignore your body that injuries happen.
It is important to pay attention to your body so you aren’t overdoing it or making your body vulnerable. Your body needs adequate nutrition to stay healthy.
And working out when you are hungry, exhausted, soar, or sick, can greatly increase your odds of injury. For example, if you aren’t eating properly, you could become light headed while working out, causing you to fall off your bike, trip up on the treadmill, or drop a weight on yourself.
If you haven’t considered this enough in the past, I am confident now you will start to really listen and take into account what your body is telling you.
The term “go big or go home,” does not apply to your health and fitness safety. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is great to push yourself. And you should. But all in due time.
Think of it this way. Whether you work out a lot or are just beginning, you aren’t going to walk into the gym and start out bench pressing 250lbs. Maybe if you are a body builder, but for the average joe you are going to work up to it.
The point is, whatever you are doing with your health and fitness, it should always be a gradual change.
It is like if you were working out a lot and then stopped going to the gym for a few weeks. When you go back, you have to ease into it.
Or if you are someone that is trying to cut out fast food. If you are going every other day, it isn’t realistic for you to cut it out all at once. You would be more successful if you were to gradually decrease the amount you eat each week.
If you don’t pace yourself, it can lead to injury, or in the case of the last example, binge eating.
Warm Up And Cool Down
This tip can go hand in hand with pacing yourself. You should always be doing a warm up and a cool down when you are working out.
Your warmup only needs to be 5-10 minutes to get your blood pumping and your muscles warmed up. This helps to avoid any strained muscles. And because you are getting your heart rate up, as well as increasing your breathing, your body can better handle your workout without putting as much stress on your heart and lungs.
When it comes to cooling down, you don’t need to spend a lot of time. Again, a few minutes can be sufficient. Your cooldown is where you are going to stretch out all of the muscles you worked and get your heart rate and breathing back to your baseline.
By stretching, you will be easing your muscles. This helps reduce soreness and cramping.
I’m sure you have skipped this in the past. Most people do. But if means that you know from experience how your body feels when you skip it. And as you get older, it can take longer to recover.
Form Is Key
When it comes to fitness you should always be thinking about form. This is true at any level. Before you start increasing intensity or adding more weight, you should have your form down pat.
I cannot stress this safety tip enough.
I have seen people use poor form and get injured because of it.
Stop and think for a moment about all of the different exercises you could do and what an injury from not performing it properly would look like.
It is not a pretty picture.
Talk to a fitness coach or do some research and be sure to get your form squared away before you start pushing the limits. There is nothing wrong practicing with no weight or just an empty barbell.
Your safety should always come first.
Have A Buddy
Having a buddy does not only make working out more enjoyable, but it is much safer as well. If you were to get injured or have a health issue, it is easier to get help.
A buddy can also act as a spotter when you are lifting. It is the spotters job to ensure the person lifting does it safely and is there to help lift the weight if need be.
That means it is very important that the spotter understand their role and how they should be spotting you.
Working out with a friend is a super easy way to make sure you are both safe.
Limit Your Exercise
Many people believe that you cannot exercise too much. The more you work out the stronger you become. That is true to a point, which is why this has made it onto the list of health and fitness safety tips.
If you train too hard or too often you will not be doing your body any favors. Your muscles need time to repair after a workout, so if you continuously exercise, you are not giving them the time they need.
That is why it is recommended that you vary your exercises, so you aren’t working the same muscle groups all of the time. For example, you could work your upper body on Monday and Thursday. Then your lower body and abdominals on Tuesday and Friday.
Just make sure whatever exercise you do, you are giving your body some time between work outs for your muscles to repair.
This is another instance when you want to listen to your body and give it the recovery time it needs.
I don’t know what it is but there are so many people out there that just don’t like water. If you are one of these people, you need to learn to love it.
Water makes up 50-70% of your body weight. When you work out, you are losing water not only from sweat, but also from what your body needs for your muscles when you exercise.
Not staying hydrated, even when you aren’t being active, can lead to dehydration and other serious medical conditions.
As a general rule of thumb, you should drink about eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Of course, if you listen to your body, you may need more or less than this.
If you are a person that does not like plain water, jazz it up a little bit. Throw in some fruit, like lemons, strawberries, and blueberries. Or try some cucumber, cinnamon, peppermint, or ginger.
They also make sugar free drink mixes that could help you drink more water.
And if you are having difficulty knowing if you are reaching the recommended amount of water each day, you should try keeping a water tracker. You can learn more about tracking progress in The Starter’s Guide to Health & Fitness.
Choose The Right Gear
You might be thinking to yourself, why does gear matter? You just throw on some old clothes and work up a sweat. But there needs to be more consideration than that.
What you wear can matter when it comes to safety.
For example, you wouldn’t lift heavy weights while wearing running shoes because most running shoes have a softer, squishy sole. This could throw off your form and control.
You want to dress for the workout you are doing.
Compression wear is a good option for a lot of exercise because it can increase circulation and blood flow to the heart, which means more oxygen to your working muscles.
You also want clothing that fits properly. The last thing you want is your sleeve getting caught on the end of a barbell as you walk by.
The right gear can be vital when exercising outdoors as well. You should always dress for the weather. This plays into your safety by ensuring you don’t get too hot or cold.
Be Conscious Of Outdoor Exercise
When you are exercising outdoors, there is an added level of safety you should take into account. There are many additional factors that need to be considered that aren’t really an issue when it comes to working out indoors.
This includes factors such as weather and the area you work out in.
If it is extremely hot, you want to be aware of heat stroke and make sure you are staying hydrated. And don’t forget the sunscreen.
If it is winter, hypothermia can be an issue. Winter also includes slippery conditions, which can easily cause an injury.
You also want to be aware of where you are working out.
It is good to be in a populated area in case an injury health concern were to occur. But in populated areas, you need to wear bright colors and it is good to exercise in a group so that motorist can see you.
Keep Your Area Clean
Here is another common sense health and fitness safety tip. But unfortunately, I have seen it neglected all too often. People are in a rush to get their workout in and at the gym they don’t seem to want to give up their equipment.
Whenever you are working out, you should always be sure you have ample room. When you are done with weights, put them back or move them out of the way.
You never want anything in your area that you or someone else could trip over. Just imagine trying to do squats with dumbbells around your feet.
It is something so simple that can save you from a significant injury.
Choose What Is Right For You
This is the last safety tip I have for you and it is another important one. Always choose exercises that are right for you. If you don’t like doing a certain exercise or don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it.
This is where injuries occur.
If you don’t like an exercise, your form tends to get sloppy. And if you aren’t comfortable doing it, you might not have the right form to do it.
Pick what you like because you are going to be more focused when you perform it. Plus, your workout will be more enjoyable.
Your Health and Fitness Safety
We just covered 12 of what I consider the most important health and fitness safety tips. As a quick recap, you should always consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
You want to pay attention and pace yourself. You know you best, and when you listen to your body it is going to let you know what you need.
Always add a warmup and a cooldown to your workout routine to help get proper blood flow and reduce your chances of putting a muscle.
When you are exercising, be sure that you have proper form and get a buddy to spot you. This is going to make sure you are being safe and reduce the risk of injury.
Never exercise too hard or too much but always hydrate. And choose the right workout gear for your exercise as well as pay attention to where you are working out.
Finally, choose what is right for you so you not only enjoy your workout, but focus on the task at hand.
And if you are looking for more guidance on starting your health and fitness journey, don’t forget to check out The Starter’s Guide To Health & Fitness.